The federal government says it has plans to use advance technology to dramatically reduce the number of pat-down searches performed in the nation’s airports.
The Department of Homeland Security recently put out a request for technology companies to come up with a hand-held scanning device that can be used instead of pat-down searches on passengers who set off alarms on full-body scanners.
The department oversees the Transportation Security Administration, which operates about 700 full-body scanners at 180 airports across the country. When the scanners detect a hidden object, TSA workers perform a pat-down search.
But critics say TSA screeners rely on the pat-down search too often. Even former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger got a full-body pat-down at New York’s La Guardia Airport recently.